SO, is this a hinge moment in history? Could the pandemic change the world? These are the questions the BBC is asking in their current Rethink programmes on Radio 4 and associated podcasts. Fronted by Amol Rajan, it’s a chance to hear from politicians, academics, historians, activists, architects, religious leaders (hello Pope Francis) and artists.

Will it be able to find some worthwhile answers though? Depends who you ask. Professor Niall Ferguson used his slot on Radio 4’s Today programme on Tuesday to have a go at “woke universities”. Yawn. A reminder that anyone who uses the word “woke” in a derogatory manner is probably something of an arse. Indeed, Ferguson managed to make Francis “end of history” Fukuyama and former Tory strategist Steve Hilton sound quite liberal when they were interviewed immediately after.

This kind of thing, I accept, tends to bring out the armchair class warrior in me. And it’s not always a rational response. I reacted badly to a throwaway remark in an otherwise interesting and thoughtful contribution from architect Amanda Levete when she suggested lockdown had helped with the work-life balance. Hmm, wonder if many single mums in council houses are thinking that, I said to the radio.

It’s also why I gave a cheer near the end of Monday’s Rethink: the Edge of Change, when, after a largely cosy discussion about global co-operation, the Thucydides Trap theory, data ownership and Silicon Valley, an audibly exasperated Amani al-Khatahbeh went off on one about the terms of debate up to that point, saying that the notion – advanced by former Tory chancellor George Osborne – that the world had coped rather well with the pandemic was more a reflection of his own comfortable position of privilege and rather ignored what was happening in large parts of the world.

She then went on to have a go at his record on austerity. Osborne was rather taken aback that someone he’d “never met” should be having a go at him. Hmm, about that George …

Rethink is an interesting enough project, and it’s scope is such that it will be worth paying attention to, but there is a danger that it will suffer from the BBC’s over-reliance on certain voices we have been exposed to a million times before. You do wonder if they really have any answers we haven’t already heard.

Still, Jarvis Cocker talking about birdsong and Turnip Townshend was fun.

Listen Out For: Free Thinking, Radio 3, Tuesday, 10pm. Crime writer Ian Rankin in conversation with author Tahmima Anam.